Socialist Worker

Racists began riot

by Weyman Bennett, joint secretary Unite Against Fascism
Issue No. 1911

THE BRITISH National Party was reeling after a BBC documentary ripped away their mask of “respectability” last week.

In The Secret Agent an undercover team revealed how the BNP’s racist violence sparked riots in Bradford in July 2001.

BNP member Steve Barkham was recorded boasting about how he attacked an Asian man.

“I gave him a good fucking hiding because that’s what he asked for. I’m kicking him, kicking away, kicking away. It was fucking fantastic,” said Barkham.

His victim was Kaser Altaf. “I remember they got me on the floor, whacked something on my head, and that was it,” Altaf recalled.

Altaf was one of many Asian people who fought back against racists who abused and attacked them that night.

He was given 120 hours community service for affray after the riots the racists sparked. Barkham was never even prosecuted.

Altaf says, “I took some beating that day, and it’s even more sickening to find out the BNP were involved in it.”

The police arrested many Asian protesters. Altaf, like many others, felt forced to plead guilty to charges slapped on him.

Of three white men prosecuted over the attack, one got 60 hours community service, another got 90 hours community service and the third got six months in jail.

Press and politicians were all too eager to rant about “hundreds of rampaging Asian youths”.

Home secretary David Blunkett described the Asian men arrested as “maniacs” who should stop “whining” about jail sentences of over eight years.

Will he now apologise to the victims he rushed to scapegoat?


Nazis’ true colours

FOR THE last few years Griffin, the BNP’s leader, has posed as an ordinary politician, strutting around in a suit and doing media interviews.

But last week people saw BNP candidate Stewart Williams boasting how he wants to machine-gun Asian people.

BNP “activist” Dave Midgley laughingly described how he squirted dog excrement through Asians’ doors.

Griffin said Williams was unlikely to be expelled from the BNP because he only “dreamed” of such acts.

Griffin himself was shown trying to whip up an audience into an Asian-hating frenzy. He told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that Islam used rape to spread its influence. He should be branded a Nazi and hounded wherever he goes.


Campaign needed

‘AT LAST the truth is out. The BNP were behind the violent assault on Asian and black people in Bradford.

Griffin hoped he would be an MEP by now. But campaigners have worked hard to defeat him, giving out millions of Unite Against Fascism leaflets around Britain.

Seeing the BNP’s racist and fascist heart exposed in the mainstream media is great. But last week’s exposure of the BNP is not enough.

They got four councillors in Bradford in June. In a council election in Barking and Dagenham last week the BNP candidate came second with 576 votes, 31 percent. Labour got 761 votes.

That’s why we have to build a mass movement to defeat them.’


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Article information

News
Sat 24 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1911
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